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Domestic Violence and Health Care: Opening Pandora¿s Box ¿ Challenges and Dilemmas

By Victoria J. Lavis, Christine Horrocks, Nancy Kelly and V. Barker


In this article we take a critical stance toward the rational progressive narrative\ud surrounding the integration of domestic violence within health care. Whilst changes in\ud recent UK policy and practice have resulted in several tangible benefits, it is argued that\ud there may be hidden dilemmas and challenges. We suggest that the medical model of care\ud and its discursive practices position women as individually accountable for domestic\ud violence-related symptoms and injuries. This may not only be ineffective in terms of\ud service provision but could also have the potential to reduce the political significance of\ud domestic violence as an issue of concern for all women. Furthermore, it is argued that the\ud use of specific metaphors enables practitioners to distance themselves from interactions\ud that may prove to be less comfortable and provide less than certain outcomes. Our analysis\ud explores the possibilities for change that might currently be available. This would\ud appear to involve a consideration of alternative discourses and the reformulation of power\ud relations and subject positions in health care

Topics: Discourse, Domestic abuse, Health care response, Intimate partner violence, Medical model, Medicalisation, Relational change, Subject positions, Domestic violence
Publisher: Sage
Year: 2005
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Bradford Scholars

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